Maccarinelli Wants a Rematch With Afolabi – Boxing News
By Manuel Perez: Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli (29-3, 22 KOs) was knocked out for the second time in a year, this time by largely unknown Ola Afolabi (14-1, 6 KOs) last Saturday night at the M.E.N. Arena, in Manchester, Lancashire. Maccarinelli, 28, was leading in the 9th when Afolabi, 29, suddenly unleashed a big right hand that dropped Maccarinelli flat on his back. Maccarinelli attempted to get up but staggered around the ring causing the fight to be stopped by referee Terry O’Connor at 1:50 of the round.
Now, it seems, that Maccarinelli is interested in a rematch with Afolabi, and that Afolabi has made a verbal agreement to take give him a badly needed rematch. However, Afolabi, the new WBO interim cruiserweight champion, has other options as well, starting with a title match with full WBO champion Victor Ramirez. That’s a fight that Afolabi would likely want to take rather than go over old ground by facing Maccarinelli again.
Naturally, if enough money is offered to Afolabi to give Maccarinelli an unneeded rematch, then I could see Afolabi temporarily skipping over a fight with Ramirez. After all, Afolabi matches up very well with the Argentinean and will be big problems for him when they do finally end up meeting.
Maccarinelli is reportedly embarrassed about his defeat to Afolabi last weekend, saying to Steven Bunce on his Boxing Hour show, that he doesn’t know what happened and saying “I believe if we boxed a million times he’d only beat me that once.”
God, I hope he’s right because from what I saw of the fight, Maccarinelli was hurt badly after getting nailed by a right hand early in the fight and had to hold on for dear life. Afolabi then seemed to play around for the next five rounds, throwing weak punches and waiting for Maccarinelli to tire out. You could see that Afolabi was holding back with his power shots and just waiting for the right time to start pouring it on.
The time came in the 9th round, when Afolabi suddenly started putting big power in his shots, backing a tired and shocked looking Maccarinelli around the ring until Afolabi nailed him with a big right hand that put Maccarinelli flat on his backside.
There was nothing spectacular in what Afolabi did; He just started putting power in his shots and took out a tired, weak jawed Maccarinelli. In a way, the fight reminded me a lot of Wladimir Klitschko’s fight with journeyman Ross Purity in 1998, a fight where Wladimir dominated until the 10th when Purity suddenly opened up with a storm of power shots and took Wladimir out in the next round.
In Maccarinelli’s case, I can’t see a different outcome occurring next time out. Sure, he was winning the fight after getting stunned by Afolabi in the 3rd, sweeping rounds four through eight, but that was only because Afolabi looked like he was taking it easy on him and waiting him out.
Obviously, if given a rematch, Maccarinelli will try to compensate by boxing more in the later rounds and make an effort to stay away from exchanges with Afolabi late. However, Afolabi nailed Maccarinelli with a long right hand and with his 6’3″ size and long reach, Afolabi will likely be able to land his power shots late in the fight just like last time.
Even if Maccarinelli tries to fight him at close range and smother him, I doubt that this will work either. Afolabi staggered Maccarinelli in the 3rd in close quarters with his back against the ropes.